SDCC 2015 Overwatch: The Omnic Crisis Graphic Novel

Micky Neilson announced he is writing a graphic novel titled OVERWATCH: THE OMNIC CRISIS. Artwork will be penciled by Ludo Lullabi (WORLD OF WARCRAFT: The ASHBRINGER). We have more details in our SDCC 2015 Overwatch coverage.

Neilson: First off, I can’t even tell you all how excited I am to be writing OVERWATCH: THE OMNIC CRISIS!

My fellow story comrades here at Blizzard started me off with an already amazing outline, and the project has only gotten better from there! For us authors, some books/stories almost seem to write themselves; others need to be dragged out from the inner recesses of our brains kicking and screaming. I’m happy to say the Overwatch GN falls into the former category. Overwatch is the most fun I’ve had writing a comic in a long time, and I can’t wait for you all to experience it!

So excited to work with Ludo Lullabi again. Ludo and I first worked together on World of Warcraft: Ashbringer and Ludo’s art has only gotten better.

Overwatch: Omnic Crisis will detail the origins of the international team called Overwatch. It will feature Jack Morrison, just featured in a short animated piece, as well as Reinhardt, Torbjorn and more!

If you don’t know what Overwatch is yet, for shame! Go here and be enlightened.

SDCC 2015 - Overwatch: The Omnic Crisis Graphic Novel

 

Don’t forget to check out our SDCC 2015 Blizzard-Legendary Coverage page.

***Fans who would love to watch Blizzard-related panels and appreciate our efforts can support Blizzplanet’s patreon in a monthly-basis, or on a one-time basis. Our staff are volunteer fans like you. Your donatives will help us travel to all the Blizzard events we attend year-round.

 

The Cosplay References for Overwatch Heroes are available

Cosplayers and artists from all around the world, this is a message for all of you. You can now have access to every details for each Overwatch Heroes. Blizzard put to disposal an online PDF that  allows you to have every details from every angle and with information such as te hexadecimal color codes to stick perfectly to the original ingame models.

In order to download those PDF, all you have to do is to go to the Blizzard Press Center website and select “Misc“.

Cosplay details Mercy

Blizzplanet Coming to E3 2015 – Blizzard Entertainment Coverage

A few weeks ago, I posted that Blizzard Entertainment will attend E3 Expo 2015 at Concourse – OFMR 8201.

We can speculate all we want but Blizzard Entertainment hasn’t announced yet they are attending E3 or why for. Blizzard was absent from E3 for many years until 2013 when they let the media and attendees play Diablo III Ultimate Edition for the PS4/XBox 360 consoles.

e3-2015-blizzard-logo

So considering Blizzard didn’t attend 2014, they showcased Overwatch at PAX East 2015 (which I attended to) and Overwatch beta is slated for Fall 2015 — it is logical that Blizzard is bringing Overwatch to E3 2015. Of course, there is no announcements backing that speculation up. So place your bets on the table folks.

With Heroes of the Storm launching officially on June 2, it is possible Blizzard wants the media having a shot at playing the game at E3’s showfloor.

Whatever Blizzard’s plans are for E3 2015, Blizzplanet will have you covered. We are proud to announce that our staff member Naka (@dperschonok) has been approved to attend as a member of the media press. We have gone to GamesCom, PAX East and PAX Prime, NYCC, and SDCC; but this is the first time we go to E3 and we are proud that Naka was approved to attend. Congrats buddy!

Keep an eye on Blizzplanet through June 16-18 when E3 Expo 2015 takes place.

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BlizzCon 2014 – Overwatch Origins Panel Transcript

This is a full transcript of the Overwatch Origins panel held at BlizzCon 2014. Among the panelists were: Chris Metzen (SVP Story and Franchise Development), Jeff Chamberlain (VFX Supervisor), Jeff Kaplan (game director), Bill Petras (art director) and Arnold Tsang (Lead Character Concept Artist).

BlizzCon 2014 - Overwatch Origins Panel Transcript

Transcript

Presentator: Welcome to the Overwatch Origins Panel.

Metzen: Whattup, BlizzCon?

Kaplan: What’s up everyone? We are pretty excited to be here today. Yesterday, we had a big panel here on the stage with me and Chris where we talked a lot about: What is Overwatch?; and got heavily into the gameplay and we talked a lot about what the world was, but what we thought would be really cool for day two is to bring these guys up and talk more about was the inspiration behind Overwatch and the why of Overwatch.

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So I want to introduce you guys to the panel here. I feel very honored to be sitting amongst these guys here so to my direct left is Jeff Chamberlain.

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Jeff is the guy who directed the Overwatch announce trailer that you guys saw yesterday so I thought it was amazing–

Metzen: … and for the purposes of continuity, you guys remember Jeff’s work: he directed Wrath of the Lich King trailer, my son…. Jeff is old school Blizzard.

Kaplan: … Burning Crusade, Heart of the Swarm, that was all Jeff. Then we have as you guys may or may not know Mr. Chris Metzen, the creative director of Overwatch and pretty much everything else at Blizzard — so you guys know about Chris.

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Buzz? E3 2015 Exhibitor List shows Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard Entertainment had not attended E3 Expo’s concourse in many years until 2013 where attendees were able to play Diablo III on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

While checking the E3 2015 Exhibitor List tonight, I noticed Blizzard Entertainment is listed to be at OFMR 8201; while Activision Blizzard will be at separate booths and rooms (none mentioning 8201).

Buzz? E3 2015 Exhibitor List shows Blizzard Entertainment

At simple sight, unless there was a mistake, all signs point at a unique space solely assigned for either Blizzard Entertainment video games or the careers team. It is unknown.

There hasn’t been any official announcements from Blizzard Entertainment concerning their presence or purpose at E3 2015 at the time of this posting.

Do I have any guesses? Considering beta test begins this Fall season, the team-based shooter Overwatch is a perfect candidate. Heroes of the Storm goes live on June 2. Any new heroes or battleground additions might make sense to be featured at E3. However, E3 is also a perfect place for the Blizzard Careers Team to throw its fishing net to find awesome talent. This is entirely my opinion. I do not know why Blizzard is attending, or whether Blizzard is attending.

E3 Expo will take place through June 16-18 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for any flash news in case Blizzard confirms or debunks their presence at E3.

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Vote for the Overwatch cinematic at the 19th Webby Awards

Update (April 24): Votation has closed. The winners will be announced on Monday, April 27 at the webbyawards.com website.

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To mark the 19th Webby Awards, a ceremony that rewards the best videos, films and websites that will take place soon, Overwatch has been nominated in the category of best Online Film & Video: Best Editing. The votes will stop on Friday, April 24, by the time share this information to all your friends and Blizzard fans and vote for the team behind the cinematics of Overwatch be rewarded!

Vote for the Overwatch cinematic at the 19th Webby Awards

To do so, visit the Online Film & Video section: Best Editing, register and vote! Currently the cinematics has 32% of the votes, which puts it to the 2nd position. Show the power of the community!

And you, did you enjoy the cinematic?

Reilena Cosplay as Overwatch Widowmaker

Reilena Cosplay is our cosplayer focus today. She was seen at BlizzCon 2014 dressed as Widowmaker (Overwatch). Here you can see some photos published by Photographer Mike Saffels. Other photos floating around by JwaiDesign.

If you are wondering how in the world Reilena Cosplay (aka Rachel Day) knew about Overwatch Widowmaker before it was even announced at BlizzCon 2014, then your guess is good. Besides a cosplayer and costume-maker, she was a Quality Assurance Intern back in 2009 for StarCraft II. Then the FX Artist and Technical Artist for Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo III from 2010 until February 2014; and currently an FX Artist for Overwatch.

You can follow her on Instagram, and Facebook.

Reilena Cosplay as Overwatch Widowmaker

 

Reilena Cosplay as Overwatch Widowmaker

 

PAX East 2015 Overwatch Hands-On Preview

Our New York City Hearthstone Fireside co-organizer, Mithalas, came along with us to PAX East 2015 to play Overwatch. Mithalas is pretty good with FPS video games, and after I saw him obliterate an enemy team, I asked him to write up something about his Overwatch hands-on gameplay experience:

PAX East 2015 Overwatch Hands-On Preview
From left to right: Mithalas, Lyndsi (Blizzard PR Associate) and Medievaldragon

Mithalas: The annual PAX East convention occurred last weekend, and Blizzard’s main booth in the expo hall featured Overwatch (and only Overwatch). I was lucky enough to get to play it twice – on Friday and Sunday – and had a lot of fun during my brief time with the game.

BlizzCon 2015 is November 6th and 7th

Blizzard just announced the dates for Blizzcon 2015, as always it will be at the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday, November 6 and Saturday, November 7, 2015. Don’t miss the schedule for the tickets!

BlizzCon 2015 is November 6th and 7th

You’ve been summoned to Southern California for BlizzCon 2015! Blizzard’s ninth epic gaming convention and community celebration is returning to the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday, November 6 and Saturday, November 7, 2015. Form a party with your fellow members of the Blizzard community and get ready for two days of in-depth discussion panels with our developers, hands-on play time with the latest Blizzard games, and intense eSports tournaments featuring top pro gamers from around the world.

BlizzCon 2015 tickets will go on sale in two batches on Wednesday, April 15 at 7 p.m. PT and Saturday, April 18 at 10 a.m. PT through the online event ticketing service Eventbrite, priced at $199 each (plus applicable taxes and fees). Check out the BlizzCon Ticket webpage for all the details.

In addition, we’re once again planning a special pre-BlizzCon Benefit Dinner the evening of Thursday, November 5 in support of Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), where guests will have a chance to meet and chat with developers, artists, community team representatives, and others from Blizzard. Attendance to this special event will be limited, and we’ll have more information on ticket pricing and availability at a later date.

If you can’t make it to the show in person, you’ll be able to watch from home with the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, offering comprehensive live coverage of the event via a multichannel Internet stream. Further details on the Virtual Ticket, including pricing, availability, and programming information, will be announced at a later date.

See the full press release or check out the BlizzCon Ticket page for more information, and be sure to visit www.blizzcon2015.eventbrite.com at the dates and times above for a chance to purchase a ticket to the show. We hope to see you there!

Blizzard Entertainment’s massive gaming convention and community celebration takes over the Anaheim Convention Center November 6–7

Tickets on sale April 15 and April 18

IRVINE, Calif. – March 12, 2015 – Get ready for two days of nonstop Blizzard gaming with a few thousand of your closest friends. Blizzard Entertainment today announced that its ninth BlizzCon® will be turning the Anaheim Convention Center into community central for all Blizzard games on Friday, November 6 and Saturday, November 7, with tickets going on sale in two batches on April 15 and April 18.

“There’s no better way to connect with the ever-expanding Blizzard community than by bringing everyone together at BlizzCon,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “With more games in development than ever before, we’ll have plenty of exciting updates to share and lots of great eSports competition to look forward to—we can’t wait to see everyone there.”

BlizzCon is an epic celebration of Blizzard Entertainment’s game universes and the global player communities that bring them to life. At this year’s event, attendees will have a chance to enjoy:

  • Hands-on play time with the latest versions of Blizzard Entertainment games
  • Global Finals for Blizzard eSports, including the StarCraft® II World Championship Series and Hearthstone® World Championship
  • In-depth discussion panels with Blizzard game developers and artists
  • Community contests with great prizes
  • Commemorative merchandise based on Blizzard’s game universes
  • More activities and attractions to be announced

Tickets to attend BlizzCon 2015 will be priced at $199 USD (plus applicable taxes and fees) each and will be available for purchase from the online event ticketing service Eventbrite via their website (www.blizzcon2015.eventbrite.com) in two separate batches. The first batch goes on sale at 7 p.m. Pacific time on Wednesday, April 15, and the second batch goes on sale at 10 a.m. Pacific time on Saturday, April 18.

An exclusive pre-BlizzCon dinner to benefit Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) will also be held the evening of Thursday, November 5, giving attendees the chance to eat, drink, and be merry alongside Blizzard developers, artists, and community representatives while supporting a great cause. Further details on the BlizzCon Benefit Dinner, including ticket pricing and availability, will be announced at a later date.

Anyone looking to enjoy BlizzCon from the comfort of their own home will once again have the option to order a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, offering comprehensive live coverage of the event via a multichannel online stream. Further details on the Virtual Ticket, including pricing, availability, and programming information, will be announced at a later date.

For more information on BlizzCon 2015, visit the official website (www.blizzcon.com). Additional details will be posted as the event draws near. Those interested in attending the show in person can make advance hotel reservations now and receive special BlizzCon rates by booking through the BlizzCon hotel website.

Blizzard Entertainment is currently hiring for numerous open positions. More information on available career opportunities can be found at www.blizzard.com/jobs

PAX East 2015 Overwatch First Impressions

Overwatch is a very straightforward game in terms of controls. I played as McCree the gunslinger. Pressing SHIFT made him speed up in the direction aimed for a couple of seconds, and he reloaded automatically — good to get out of the way when enemies engage you in combat. Pressing E would throw Flashbang — a small flash grenade at close range that stagger enemies in a small radius.

Peacekeeper made me crack in laughter when McCree went machinegun-style. It’s so awesome. I managed to kill Tracer and even Winston with it.

The Ultimate ability Deadeye is deployed pressing Q. There was a circle icon in the bottom center that replenished over time and that’s when you hit Q to unleash the ability that kills many targets in one shot. I don’t recommend using this in the open. McCree will certainly die to Widowmaker or other long-range enemies.

Jesse McCree is definitely going to be among my main characters to play once Overwatch beta starts. Gives me the Clint Eastwood’s The Good, The Bad and the Ugly-film vibe.

PAX East 2015 Overwatch First Impressions

I personally couldn’t accomplish much because I am not used to playing with the AWSD keys. I kept absently pressing the arrow keys as I always do in World of Warcraft and Half-Life 2: Deathmatch to no avail. Felt like a deer in the middle of the road blinded by the flash, then died horribly. Joke’s on me.

Gameplay seemed very fast paced, not like in Half-Life 2: Deathmatch where sometimes there are periods of time you aren’t doing anything (I blame the long convoluted maps with tunnels going everywhere). Here the map is small with different entrances/exits which give you the strategical advantage of going around enemy forces to take them out from behind.

High ground doorways offer another way to hit your enemies when they can’t see you initially. Tracer, McCree and Widowmaker can benefit a lot with these strategic points in the map packing a lot of damage to unsuspecting enemies that get outright flanked and taken out.

When you die in Overwatch, you see a few-seconds replay from the point of view of the enemy who killed you. May be cancelled with ESC.

The map I played in the objective was to destroy the payload transport. Something that isn’t accomplished easily with the enemy hitting you from all sides.

I can’t wait to play Overwatch again. Check out video clips of McCree’s abilities in action here.

PAX East 2015 Blizzard Panel Video

I took video of the Blizzard Entertainment panel held at PAX East 2015 where announces flew left and right with two new Overwatch heroes: Zarya and McCree, Overwatch beta slated for Fall 2015, the new Hearthstone: Blackrock Mountain Adventure pre-orders start on March 19th.

The developers plan to launch one wing per week for a total of 5 wings focused on Blackwing’s forces and Ragnaros’ forces. The adventure will introduce 31 new cards. There are plans for a launch on iPhone and Android in few weeks from now. These are currently in Alpha. Both iPhone and Android players will have different UI than the Tablet and the PC, but will still play against Tablet and PC players under the same server infrastructure.

In addition, Heroes of the Storm beta testers will soon be able to play as Sylvanas Windrunner, and the Tomb of the Spider Queen battleground is on its way for testing. Watch our Blizzard panel video (transcript coming next week).

PAX East 2015 Day One – Blizzard Photos Round 1

PAX East has been very exciting so far with so many updates of Blizzard’s latest games. Overwatch beta is slated to begin on Fall 2015, so make sure to update your beta opt-in located in your Battle.net account page.

These are just a handful of photos I have taken during the morning. I managed to reach the press room and got WiFi. I’ll upload more later.

You will see below the line (no, the Horde) of fans trying to get into the Blizzard panel room. Many many more were not able to even join the line once the PAX staff declared the line was at full capacity. Lot of passion, sweat and blood. Sad some of you weren’t able to make it to the line. Make sure to watch the VOD, and I was also able to record the panel. Hoping to upload it as soon as I am able. Make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

PAX East 2015 Day One – Blizzard Photos Round 1

 

Speculation: Blizzard Entertainment and Metal Arms Trademark Updated

Before going into details, let’s take a short trip through memory lane with some facts and dates to refresh your memory or to inform fans new to Blizzard.

  • StarCraft: Ghost was originally developed by Nihilistic, but later the game passed to the hands of Swingin’ Ape Studios.
  • Blizzard Entertainment purchased Swingin’ Ape Studios. (May 16, 2005)
  • StarCraft: Ghost was postponed indefinitely (not officially cancelled)(March 24, 2006)

Metal Arms: Glitch in the System was a Third-person shooter video game developed by Swingin’ Ape Studios back in 2003 and it was published by Sierra. However, as I posted last year, Blizzard Entertainment acquired the trademark from Sierra. (around May 2014)

We have seen Blizzard acquire video games formerly developed by them (i.e. The Lost Vikings, Blackthrone and Rock’n Roll Racing) from Interplay. However, Blizzard published these games for the GameBoy Advance afterwards.

We haven’t seen any Metal Arms games announced by Blizzard Entertainment … yet?

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Speculation: Blizzard Entertainment and Metal Arms Trademark Updated

The latest update to the Metal Arms trademark was updated on September 25, 2014 by the Dublin law firm which represents Blizzard Entertainment in Europe. That may not mean much, except there is an intriguing change.

Speculation: Blizzard Entertainment and Metal Arms Trademark Updated

This is how the trademark looked like back in 2003:

IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: Computer game software [ and instruction manuals sold as a unit therewith ].

This is how it looks in the present:

Computer game software, computer game discs, downloadable computer game software, computer game software downloadable from a global computer network, interactive multimedia computer game programs; Downloadable electronic game software for use on portable electronic devices such as mobile and cellular phones, laptops, handheld computers, and tablet PCs.

Interesting bit there taking in mind some chronological facts:

  • Metal Arms launched in 2003
  • The first iPhone launched in 2007.
  • The first Android launched in 2008.
  • The iPad (generation 1) was launched in April 3, 2010.

This Metal Arms trademark update may definitely stir some discussion in the community — whether this new update means Blizzard might have plans for the IP. These devices didn’t even exist when Swingin’ Ape Studios originally launched Metal Arms: Glitch in the System for the GameCube, PlayStation 2, and the original Xbox.

**Blizzard Entertainment has not made any official announcements concerning Metal Arms.

Pre-PAX East 2015 Overwatch Teasers

The Overwatch Team has posted a couple teasers aimed at hyping whatever plans there are to announce at PAX East on Friday, March 6 at 10:30am. Wankyu and I will be there at the panel, so make sure to check back for any updates. We’ll also share our first impressions playing the game, and will gather questions from the community after the panel to approach the developers with your questions.

The latest teaser says: “The scent of gunsmoke mingled with the aroma of gyóza following yesterday’s thwarted ramen shop robbery attempt. And while the mainstream media focused on the anachronistic fashion sense of the stranger who saved the day, I want to know whether he’s the self-appointed sheriff of the corner store, too. We’re told we live in an era of peace, but crime is running rampant, and the authorities don’t seem to care. If folks like him want to protect us, maybe we should just let–“.

Other than that, Blizzard doesn’t give any more hints on what this new hero presumed to be announced at PAX East is about. The only hint is “anachronistic fashion sense” which points toward a vigilante wearing cloths that aren’t unique or conforming with the current era in the Overwatch universe. Could it be a cowboy vigilante?

Something wrong is going on in a post-Overwatch era where peace is supposed to reign. The description “We’re told we live in an era of peace, but crime is running rampant, and the authorities don’t seem to care” points to some mysterious corruption from within plaguing the government(s).

Pre-PAX East 2015 Overwatch Teasers

Pre-PAX East 2015 Overwatch Teasers

The previous teaser said: “[EXCLUSIVE] What caused one weightlifting world champ hopeful to give up fame and glory? Find out in our March issue!“.

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Seems like Blizzard plans to unveil at least two new heroes in the Overwatch roster.